RM vs. Elizabethtown Area School District

DECISION
Due Process Hearing for RM

ODR File No. 7788/06-07 KE

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing: July 30, September 4, October 8, October 26, November 8, November 20, 2007, January 2, January 4, 2008 – Open Hearing

Parties to the Hearing: Mr. & Mrs.

Elizabethtown Area School District 600 East High Street Elizabethtown, PA 17022

Representative:

Vivian Narehood, Esq. Gibbel, Kraybill & Hess 41 East Orange Street Lancaster, PA 17602

Jeffrey Champagne, Esq. McNees, Wallace & Nurick 100 Pine Street
P.O. Box 1166

Harrisburg, PA 17108-1166

Hearing Officer: Debra K. Wallet, Esq.

Record Closed: January 24, 2008

Date of Decision: February 8, 2008

BACKGROUND:

Student is a xx-year-old (date of birth xx/xx/xx) who resides with both Parents within the Elizabethtown Area School District [hereinafter School District]. Student received services as a gifted student until he sustained a severe head injury in an August 2, 2005 automobile accident. Student remains at a Level III on the Rancho Los Amigos scale with movement limited to eye blinks, a left hand squeeze, and some control of the right thumb. Since Student’s discharge from the hospital, the School District has provided educational services to him in his home.

Parents allege that Student has been denied a Free Appropriate Public Education [hereinafter FAPE] since January 2006. Their primary disagreement with the provided services is the School District’s emphasis on establishing a reliable form of communication. Parents contend that the Individualized Education Programs [hereinafter IEPs] are inappropriate because they fail to provide positive therapy and grossly underestimate Student’s ability to comprehend his surroundings.

The School District contends that the five day per week in-home services beginning in the fall of 2006 provided FAPE. The School District argues that there is no evidence that more or different in-home services would benefit Student unless or until there is a consistent way of communicating with him.

ISSUES:

  1. Was Student denied FAPE from 1/16/06 to 6/7/06?
  2. Was Student denied ESY during the summer of 2006?
  3. Was Student’s November 2006 IEP appropriate?
  4. Were Student’s three 2007 IEP’s appropriate?
RM-Elizabethtown-Area-ODRNo-7788-06-07-KE

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